Developing countries turn to sustainability standards

Grimm, Sven / Thomas Fues / Archna Negi / Christoph Sommer / Jorge Perez Pineda
External Publications (2018)

in: Voluntary Sustainability Standards, Trade and Sustainable Development: 3rd Flagship Report of the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS), 39-46


The relationship between Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS), trade and sustainable development are among the most pronounced concepts sought-after the realm of green global value chains. We typically see the benefits of imposing sustainability standards as a positive advantage contributing to the environment, society and the economy. The VSS system has in fact influence on the export landscape to either facilitate market access or become an obstacle to trade, especially for importing countries that have turned to VSS as a market reality. More often than not, the obstacles are greatly impacting small-medium enterprises (SMEs) and small-scale producers, notably those in developing countries. This brought about the emergence of National VSS Multi-stakeholder Platforms through the support of public actors on trade opportunities as well as the fundamental role of global governance. The 3rd UNFSS Flagship is set to impart an agenda surrounding VSS and its relation to trade issues, in particular the impact of VSS on market access.

About the authors

Fues, Thomas



Grimm, Sven

Political Science


Sommer, Christoph



Further experts

Berger, Axel

Political Science 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Dippel, Beatrice


Fiselier, Evelien


Hernandez, Ariel


Hornidge, Anna-Katharina

Development and Knowledge Sociologist 

Müngersdorff, Maximilian

Social Scientist 

Olekseyuk, Zoryana


Reiners, Wulf

Political Science 

Schwachula, Anna


Stamm, Andreas


Stender, Frederik


Stoffel, Tim

Political Scientist 

Vogel, Johanna

International Cultural Economy